Olena Yermakova

Fellowships

Fellowships
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Olena Yermakova started researching migration into Poland in 2018. It was an extremely ambiguous situation: a right-wing government that rode into power on a wave of anti-migrant rhetoric was letting in millions of labor migrants––particularly from Ukraine. Puzzled by the divergence between discourse and policy, she turned to the migrants themselves, asking how this marginalized group navigates the grey zone they exist in, how the dominant right-wing populist discourse reflects on them, and how their identities are transforming as a result. To do so, she conducted 40 semi-structured interviews between July and September 2021 in five locations in Poland. As she starts her fellowship at IWM in September 2022, there has been a tectonic shift in context caused by Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Therefore, the current aim of Yermakova's research is to contextualize her findings by adopting a comparative angle on the situation before and after February 24. She comes back to her respondents one year later, half a year after the start of the full-scale war, striving to capture their experiences and changes in perceptions.

Publications